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About the Program

American studies offers you the opportunity to engage with the complex and diverse histories that have come to shape both the United States and the Americas. In a rigorous yet flexible environment of intellectual inquiry, you will develop critical skills not only to pursue a rewarding career, but also to serve as a responsible citizen of the 21st century. In seminars, independent research and collaborative projects, you will traverse the borders of traditional disciplines and question what "America" means. You will have almost limitless freedom to generate your own path in the program, pursuing your specific interests. At a time of widespread questioning and debate about America as nation and idea, American studies gives you the tools to determine those meanings for yourself.

What Makes Us Different

  • Interdisciplinary Approach

    Grow your creative and critical thinking skills through the exploration of history, anthropology, literature, sociology, gender and more.

  • Flexible Curriculum

    Develop your own interests in a broad array of courses and disciplines. American studies makes it very easy to double major.

  • Community Organizations

    Work to improve quality of life by working with local organizations such as the Village Initiative for Equity in Education, the Equality Lab and the Bray School Lab.

  • Research Centers

    Collaborate with the Institute of Early American History and Culture and the National Institute of American History and Democracy.

  • Historic Location

    Live within the Historic Triangle (Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown), which played a vital role in the early days of English colonialism and the birth of America.

Applied Learning



American studies' interdisciplinary nature encourages personal initiative and creative thinking, which gives alumni an advantage as they pursue a rich variety of careers. Some go on to graduate study in American studies, history and English. Others have pursued careers in law, business, teaching and museum fields. An American studies degree is particularly appropriate for students planning careers in law, communications, government, social work and journalism.

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Want to learn more? Our faculty want to connect with you.

Department of American Studies

Samuel E. Jones House Room 204

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Courses Disclaimer

*Courses listed are examples. Course availability changes each semester.